Anger and Aggression: A New Beginning?

George Lindenfeld, Ph.D., A.B.P.P.,

RESET Therapy Professional Institute, Arden, NC

John Hummer, Ph.D., BCN,

James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, Johnson City, TN

Katherine Billiot, Psy.D., BCB, BCN

Medical Psychology Center, Ormond Beach, FL


Published 02/08/21, Family Court Review


Author Note

For those interested in the complete pre-published article contact Dr. George Lindenfeld at glindy123@gmail.com or https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/fcre.12538


Abstract

Within our civilian population, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) has become a significant health problem. The current treatment of anger and aggression is based primarily on theories that were developed in the early 1980s. Advances in neuroscientific knowledge have exponentially added to our understanding of the underlying biological basis and neuroanatomy of violence and aggression. Through a binaural sound-based non-verbal intervention, we have found a key to unlock long-term memory (Reconsolidation) that facilitates rapid remediation of anger and violence issues. Although we readily acknowledge that our Pilot Study findings are tentative, a number of our combat-veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) experienced a positive transformation following treatment. Improvement was noted in their capacity to evidence empathy, intimacy, and social engagement. In contrast, earlier their interactive behavior was primarily isolative. Based on our reported behavioral changes, we extrapolate how this intervention might positively impact those engaged in Anger Management (AM) and IPV programs.


In this article, we present the RESET Therapy method, describing our preliminary research results, which tentatively suggest that it may offer promise in addressing conditions of dysfunctionally-stored emotional memory. We further speculate regarding its possible application as a therapeutic adjunct to current interventions specifically designed to reduce Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Unfortunately, this circumstance has attained the level of a global health issue with a significant negative impact on the victim’s emotional and physical health. Within this context, the recent outbreak of Coronavirus has reported 911 helpline calls for IPV to have increased by up to 20% or more during the ongoing epidemic (Pauly & Lurie, 2020).


Currently, there is a scarcity of innovative research related to new therapeutic interventions for those engaged in Intimate Partner Violence (Trabold et al., 2018). specifically, the issue of anger and aggression is a concern for those who seek to provide mental health services to this population. Neuroscientific inquiry has revealed much about the underlying biological basis and neuroanatomy of violence and aggression. Primary in this exploration has been the role of functional neuroimaging studies, which include fMRI, qEEG, etc. Investigation of interregional brain connectivity about violence has focused on the contribution of cortical circuitry involving the amygdala, hippocampus, and frontal brain regions (Rosell & Siever, 2015).

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